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Debbie Yow discusses Friedgen and Williams

Because I've gotten a few e-mails on the topic, I thought I'd go ahead and provide some quotes from Debbie Yow's appearance on 106.7 The Fan's Mike Wise Show today. If you're pressed for time, here's an executive summary. Or, you can listen here, depending on your level of bravery.

Wise: "Lastly Debbie, here's a slightly awkward and gently rambling question concerning how much I hate Internet rumors, but how I have to ask you about just this one, because Maryland fans are curious."

Yow: "You know Mike, here's an awkward response that literally will have your listeners cringing, folding their bodies in half and praying for it all to end soon."

Wise: "Thank you. And here's a follow-up joke."

Ok, as for the specifics, here ya go.

Wise: "How close were you to having a conversation with Dr. Mote about whether or not Gary was going to remain?''

Yow: "I think those are odd questions, to be candid with you. I'm telling you that I remember in 1998, I've extended his contract seven times in 15 years, and the one in 1998 was the one that occurred when we hadn't yet gotten past the sweet 16. And I got pummeled with e-mail--you know, 'You're an idiot, you don't know what you're doing, he's never gonna be able to win it, you're crazy, you're the problem.' And of course then we go ahead and we go to the Final Four in '01 and then we win it in '02....

Wise: "So wait, you didn't answer the question. So you didn't go to Dr. Mote's office or you did?"

Yow: "So how is your day going, Bill?"

Wise: "No, but this is one of those crazy rumors Debbie."

Yow: "I can't respond to crazy rumors, because there's too many of them. And what happens is, you start justifying them and then you kind of spend your life trying to respond to them, and then you wouldn't be able to do your real job...."

Wise: "Lastly, I just think that people, when they think of sort of the holy trifecta of people with power in the Maryland athletic department world, they think of you, Ralph and Gary, and all the politics and money and bruised ego that come about. Is it as we see it from outside, or do you think there's some fences that have been mended. I mean, how's your relationship with Gary right now?"

Yow: "I don't know how you see it from outside. I think Gary's a terrific coach. I love my coaches. I extended his contract seven times. He's doing pretty well now, making a couple of million a year. I think those things speak louder than anything else. And I hired Ralph, and I'm proud of him and want this to work, and I'm glad I hired him. I think he did an awesome job, especially the first three years, and we're gonna try to get back on track here this weekend."

Wise: "In hindsight would you have not given James Franklin the coordinator, a million-dollar bonus to become the head coach, based on things that have transpired?"

Yow: "Well first of all, that's a small bonus. You've got to compare it to the Florida State commitment of $5 million. It's 20 percent of what theirs is. I think I did a pretty good job in the negotiation. The second thing is, it wasn't a me, it was an us. James was gonna go to the NFL, and I said to Coach Friedgen, 'Just tell me, do you or do you not want him to stay? I'm up for it if you want him to stay.' And he said, 'I need him to stay, he's valuable to me, he's important.' And I said, 'Good, let's go do it then.' And we did. And how do I feel about it? We're just playing along here. I don't evaluate stuff in the middle of seasons. I see the big picture and the long-term picture. And there come times when you do that, but this is not that. It just isn't."

Wise: "Could you guarantee on our program Coach Friedgen's job after this season."

Yow: [Three-second pause] "What I can pretty much guarantee is I probably won't be back on this show."

Wise: "Debbie, that's not like an insensitive, tasteless question."

Yow: "You're asking me like an evaluative thing. Ralph has a contract for two more years, not one."

Wise: "Ok, I'm gonna play nice now, I can say that this is not a decision that's been made and you will evaluate this after the season, is that correct?"

Yow: "Like we do all 27 [coaches]. We have this conversation at the end of every season, we look back, we say what do we think about this, tell me what you think about it, we share information and generally we move on from there."

Here are a few more of Yow's quotes from earlier in the segment, when things were only moderately awkward.

On whether the football stadium expansion was too much too fast: "It took six years to get it done. The timing is interesting for building in a state system. Ralph took us to the Orange Bowl and the ACC Championship. And then we went to the Peach Bowl and crushed Tennessee. And then we went to the Gator Bowl, and not that I remember it well, but we beat West Virginia 41-7. And then he said to me the thing he wanted the most and he thought we needed the most was that expansion. So I made the commitment in the spring of 2004....The commitment was made when we were finishing in the top 20 at that point in time."

On whether she's satisfied with the direction of the football program: "I'll tell you what I tell everybody, because this is the way it really is. I'm not an AD who talks about those kind of things generally during the year. We've got 27 sports, and at the end of every season, we sit down and we talk. And I've always done that with Coach Friedgen. I do the same thing with Coach Williams or with Brenda or with anyone. And we're in the season, and of course we'd like to win more. I don't think you're gonna see Ralph or me, either one of us, say yeah we're satisfied. Of course we're not. So far the season has been a disappointment, but the season's not over. Remember, I was a coach first, before I was an administrator, so I know the most important thing right now is the next game. And we've got to keep our focus on that game, and if we do, we'll have a shot at it."

On keeping Maryland football stars in state: "I think that's a question for the head coach, not the athletic director."

On empty suites: "Of course we're concerned....What we'd love to do is sell them all, of course, but we're fighters. Remember, we're still the group that inherited the $51 million debts and we're balancing our budgets and we're still making it. So without sounding like Pollyana, I'm always the glass half full [type]. It's not half-empty, it's half-full, and we'll just figure out how to fill it up."

(The glass, not the stadium. I think.)

On her own job status: "No, I'm not worried. I have a boss. His name is Dr. Dan Mote. He'll let me know if he's pleased with my performance."

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 5, 2009; 2:54 PM ET
Categories:  Terps  
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Comments

Who comes off better in interviews David Donovan from the Redskins or Debbie Yow? It is a close call. They both sound like clueless buffoons.

Posted by: Chief2 | November 5, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Me-ow!

Posted by: kingrob76 | November 5, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

nothing she was asked was unreasonable. did she really think she could on the radio show when the football team is 2-6 and not answer any questions about it? what did she expect? to have Wise pad her ego by applauding her ability to balance the budget while destroying the only two sports that bring money into the school?

my favorite part was when she was asked about her relationship with him and she answered with "he's a terrific coach" totally avoiding the question. awesome.

Also, on the post game Gary interview after the IUP game, a reporter goes to ask Gary a question and before the journalist says a word, Gary says "I'm not answering your question." I'm dying to know who the journalist is. Does anyone know? I'm going to guess Prisbell or Yanda.

Posted by: superlele007 | November 5, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Yow: I will only be interviewed by Johnny Holliday from now on.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 5, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Correction:

Me-Yow!

Posted by: kingrob76 | November 5, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Don't at all think Debbie comes off as a buffoon. Quite the opposite, think she comes off as having common sense and a long memory. I remember 1998 well, when fans were calling Johnny Holiday's post game shows, writing letters to the Diamondback, etc and demanding Yow fire Gary.

Thank God she knew what she was doing back then, and has stood by Gary through good times and bad. Were it not for her, we would never have gone to back to back final fours, or won a national championship.

And thank God she hired Friedgen. Were it not for her, we wouldn't have won the ACC championship or gone to bowls in 6 of the last 8 years.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 5, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Dan completely ignored the part where Wise asked Chairman Yao about Chris Turner's dad saying that Yao should be fired. What's interesting there is the blatant lie Chairman Yao told about how John Turner "says he was misquoted." Which isn't true at all. Bottom line...Yao needs to go and I am not alone among Terrapin fans hoping this is another nail in her coffin.

Posted by: GATerrapin | November 5, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

If it wasn't any more evident it is time for Yow to go. You need to realize that you have to FUND your cash cow programs to be productive at the middle tier programs that you wise to desire. Men's basketball is ranked 67th in the country in terms of funding, that's absolutely terrible. Football needs to be a bigger priority to make more money. Give Ralph money to buy coaches, don't cheap him like you did with Chris Cosh. The time is now to fire Yow.

Posted by: umdterps01 | November 5, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

In 1998 some fans (a clear minority) were unhappy that the Terps did not advance further in the NCAAs and with recruiting. However, the Terps were in the middle of 12 years of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances after the Bias scandal and the Wade era. Gary had his critics, but there was no real movement among fans to fire him in 1998.

Yow did not hire Gary. Gary, his staff and his players had everything to do with the National championship. Yow's only contribution was to stay out of his way.

In recent years, Yow has leaked stories to the press to make Gary look bad. When the team was struggling early last year, she was plotting to get rid of Gary, but found that Gary had too much clout and then the team starting winning.

If you listened to the interview or read the transcript and think that Yow comes off well, you really need to get your head out of the sand.

Posted by: Chief2 | November 5, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The only thing missing was putting the problems with the football team on the Washington post!

Posted by: mb15 | November 5, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

that interview was excruciating to listen to, on many levels.
I feel sorry for Gary & Ralph, having her as the boss.
And to Mike Wise: just because you can write, doesn't mean you're good on the radio or tv. Stop the whining & preaching!!!!

Posted by: Max231 | November 5, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

As a person who does not particularly care for or about Maryland athletics, I read this as a humor piece, and by that measure I rather enjoyed it.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | November 5, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

In recent years, Yow has leaked stories to the press to make Gary look bad. When the team was struggling early last year, she was plotting to get rid of Gary, but found that Gary had too much clout and then the team starting winning.

If you listened to the interview or read the transcript and think that Yow comes off well, you really need to get your head out of the sand.

Posted by: Chief2 | November 5, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"When the team was struggling early last year, she was plotting to get rid of Gary"

This is utter lunacy written by someone who clearly has no idea what they are talking about. I communicate fairly regularly with Debbie Yow and while the team was at it's worst last year and rumors were swirling everywhere about the team and the coach's future, Debbie was North Carolina burying her sister.

When she returned, she went out of her way to attend Gary's next news conference and stood by him and let fans know that the coach has her full support. She went on to add that he has a contract through 2012 and if he needs an extension, she will make it happen.

It's clueless dimwits like the above commenter that fuel this idiotic, ill informed rumors that run rampant on the internet.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 5, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

In 1998 some fans (a clear minority) were unhappy that the Terps did not advance further in the NCAAs and with recruiting. However, the Terps were in the middle of 12 years of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances after the Bias scandal and the Wade era. Gary had his critics, but there was no real movement among fans to fire him in 1998.

Yow did not hire Gary. Gary, his staff and his players had everything to do with the National championship. Yow's only contribution was to stay out of his way.

Posted by: Chief2 | November 5, 2009 4:15 PM

And it wasn't just 1998. It was 2001. When Gary's Terps had their historic meltdown against Duke which culminated in a Feb. 14, 2001 loss at home to lowly Florida State. The team had lost 5 of 6 games, was on the verge of missing the NCAA tournament altogether, and the calls for Debbie to fire Gary were everywhere. Fans booed the Terps as they left the court. One fan shouted "see you in the NIT" which Gary heard quite clearly.

Debbie could have fired Gary right then and there, replaced him with Billy Hahn and that would have been the end of it. Lots of fans would have been happy with the decision at the time. But thankfully, Debbie was able to see the big picture and stood by Gary through those dark times.

And again,last year, when we were in the midst of potentially going to the NIT for the 4 time in 5 years, there were lots and lots of calls for Gary's head. A quick glance at the archives of the Terrapin Insider blog on this very site and you'll come across hundreds of such comments. Debbie stood by Gary yet again, and the result was an amazing turnaround that culminated in an NCAA appearance against very long odds.

This fan appreciates Debbie Yow for all she's done for the school.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 5, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Barno people might pay more attention to you if you didn't just admit to being a friend of Yows...no agenda there.

Posted by: benak86 | November 5, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Yow's gall to get upset at those softball questions. It isn't like she was rightly asked about the disparity between men's and women's sports. Of the 18 national championships during her tenure, only three were in men's sports. Only two of which were won by a single coach Yow hired: Sasho Cirovski (men's soccer). Gary Williams won the only other one. Obviously, she didn't hire him, and it is quite apparent from the interview that she was ready to pull the trigger on him last season. She says as much by the manner she evaded the question. Had she not considered or desired it, she would have said how absurd it is on its face.

Or Wise could've asked her why budget cuts this season in men's bball and football were each 30% higher than the cuts made in women's basketball...

Yow fired Mark Duffner with a year left on his contract, and she fired Ron Vanderlinden with three years left on his contract, so why does it not follow for her that Friedgen could be fired? Clearly, past history shows that a poorly performing coach can be fired even if there is time remaining on his current contract.

Of course the best person to fire would be Yow herself. President Mote, I hope you're reading this...

Posted by: jrchris | November 5, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

So if I understand all of this correctly, Maryland has an athletic program.


Debbie Yow is one of my top three favorite names, along with Dat Boioioing and Victor Awooga.

Posted by: freakzilla | November 5, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't say I'm necessarily a friend just because I communicate with her. Are you a friend of everyone you communicate with? I also email pretty regularly with a number of WaPost writers who cover subjects I'm interested in, does that make me friends with all of them? People need to stop jumping to conclusions about things they really know very little about.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 5, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't know or care about MD sports, but this intrigued me. The transcript makes Yow look bad, but then I listened to the audio itself.

1. Wise is an AWFUL interviewer. I don't think that can be overstated. He stumbles over his own questions, cuts himself off, cuts others off, says "uh" 101 times.

2. Yow sounds honest and sharp.

Posted by: wassavi | November 5, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"I remember 1998 well"

Posted by: Barno1 November 5, 2009 3:57 PM

You don't remember it that well if you think fans were demanding Yow fire Gary, he was the ACC Coach-of-the-Year. Perhaps your association with Yow has skewed your memory.

From UMTerps archives:

April 8, 1998

Maryland Terrapins (21-11, 10-6 ACC)
NCAA Tournament "Sweet 16"
ACC Tournament Semifinalists

1998 Post-Season Honors

Gary Williams ACC Coach-of-the-Year (ACC Athlete Magazine)

MARYLAND SEASON IN REVIEW

Maryland finished with a 21-11 overall record (10-6, 3rd place in the ACC) and played in its school-record fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament. The Terps. Who played the nation's toughest schedule advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament and advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five years.


MARYLAND IS -

One of only 11 teams in the nation and one of only two teams in the ACC which has participated in each of the last five NCAA Tournaments. The Terps are joined by only Arizona, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Purdue, Temple and UCLA as teams in each of the last five NCAA men's basketball tournaments.

IN THE SWEET 16 -

Maryland is one of only 11 teams in the nation which has reached the "Sweet 16" round of the NCAA Tournament in at least three of the last five years. The Terps have advanced to the regional semifinals in 1994, 1995 and 1998. Maryland is joined by only Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, Syracuse, UCLA and Utah.


Posted by: Steve96 | November 5, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

"Were it not for her, we would never have gone to back to back final fours, or won a national championship."

Posted by: Barno1 November 5, 2009 3:57 PM

Yikes! You just lost ALL credibility there. Debbie Yow is the reason the Terps won the national championship in MEN'S basketball? Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: Steve96 | November 5, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

She was referring to the 1998-99 season in which we lost in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament by 35 points to UCLA. The following season we lost 5 of 6 at one point and a lot of fans were calling for Gary's head. If you don't know this, then why are you even commenting on this issue?

Posted by: Barno1 | November 5, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! You just lost ALL credibility there. Debbie Yow is the reason the Terps won the national championship in MEN'S basketball? Thanks for the laugh.

Posted by: Steve96 | November 5, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I did not say she was "the reason" did I? I said were it not for her [keeping Gary when fans wanted him gone] we would not have gone on to final fours and a national championship. That's a fact. And no amount of your distorting reality can change that.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 5, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Not a big Yow fan and no one will really care about this, but she did let one blatant lie come out when she stated all men's sports were fully funded except track & field. Check out men's swimming which is begging for money on their web site. Also hate that she calls all non-revenue sports "Olympic Sports". tell it like it is, the only two sports that even come close to earning the University money are men's football and basketball.

Posted by: sjm3091 | November 5, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

"She was referring to the 1998-99 season in which we lost in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament by 35 points to UCLA. The following season we lost 5 of 6 at one point and a lot of fans were calling for Gary's head. If you don't know this, then why are you even commenting on this issue?"

Posted by: Barno1 November 5, 2009 10:04 PM

I'm commenting on this issue because someone needs to correct the misinformation you spew. Okay, first you said you "remember 1998 well" but now you are saying "she" was referring to 1999. In 1999 MD ended the season ranked #5 in the final AP poll:

TERPS IN THE FINAL ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL
Maryland finshed the 1998-99 season ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press poll and No. 8 in the final ESPN/USA Today Poll.

MD played (and lost) to UCLA in 2000. They ended the season ranked #17 in final AP poll:

March 27, 2000

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland men's basketball team finished with a 25-10 overall record, played in its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament, finished in second place in the ACC with an 11-5 record, advanced to the ACC Tournament championship game and finished the season ranked 17th in the final Associated Press poll of the season. It marked the third consecutive season that Maryland has been ranked in the final AP poll of the season, last year the Terps ranked fifth in the final poll.

2001 #4 in final AP.

So take your pick. Which of these 4 years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 was Yow so brilliant for not firing Gary Williams?

Posted by: Steve96 | November 5, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

Sure Gary has always had his critics, but he has many more supporters some of which are very large money contributers to the University. Debbie has never had the power to get rid of Gary, as she found out last year.

The season with the UCLA loss 99/00 was a great season with a bad ending. With a starting line up of a freshman point guard,3 sophomores, and a junior, the Terps won 25 games. At no point during the 12 consecutive years that the Terps made the tournament was there any chance Gary was going to be fired. Name a similiar situation at another school.

Just because you may e-mail with Yow does not mean she is going to confide confidential inforation to you.

Posted by: Chief2 | November 6, 2009 4:30 AM | Report abuse

"And it wasn't just 1998. It was 2001. When Gary's Terps had their historic meltdown against Duke which culminated in a Feb. 14, 2001 loss at home to lowly Florida State. The team had lost 5 of 6 games, was on the verge of missing the NCAA tournament altogether, and the calls for Debbie to fire Gary were everywhere. Fans booed the Terps as they left the court. One fan shouted "see you in the NIT" which Gary heard quite clearly."

I was there. It was a memorable scene. Fans were clearly unhappy about the hangover the team had from the gone in 54 second game. However, I do not recall people calling for Gary to be fired in the middle of the year. Has any other coach been fired in the middle of the year after 8 consecutive NCAA tournaments while running a clean program. Last year Georgetown went into a slump that they never got out of, but somehow JTIII is still at Georgetown.

Posted by: Chief2 | November 6, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Wow -- Barno -- let's set a couple of things straight:

1) Debbie Yow cannot fire Gary or Ralph on her own -- those decisions require President Mote's and if it involves large buyout funds potentially the Board of Regents input.

2) Gary and the cash generated from the resurgence of Maryland Basketball have floated the athletic department for Yow's entire tenue.

3) He comment on extending gary in 1998 -- was absurd any way you look at it.

4)The Kathy Worthington "hit" on Gary last year was sancationed by Yow -- stuff like that just doesn;t happen in the organization without her approval -- ever. The fact it occured near her sisters death makes it even more troubling becuase it was surely authorized.

And finally she has painted Maryland into a corner with her very questionable handling ot Ralph and Jame's Franklins contracts and many are very concerned about it.

Drop her all the emails you want (most are responded to by staff) but you really are off base -- way off base on most of your comments here.

Posted by: curlybyrd | November 6, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Mike you asked some great questions. What is going on with our Terps and who is to blame? It must be about protecting the big money and everyone protecting their "turf". Leadership starts from the top. We are in a mess and who created that mess should be the bigger question. I can really see three bad moves. First, giving Ralph a ten year contract in the first place. So you have three good years in the beginning. Second, allowing Cosh to leave when in state recruiting was the real issue. He did more with less talent (3 bowl games) after he was brought in after two 5-6 seasons and looks like someone threw him under the bus as was Taffee. Who the heck has been our offensive coordinator ( do we really even know?) Also, doesn't Cosh have a son who is considered the best qb ever in our state? Third, giving Franklin a million upfront and head coach in waiting( for what as he done really)? Who cares what Florida State did? Look where they are now. I see no big picture people in these moves.

Posted by: gbenj2212 | November 6, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Yow treats the cash sports (Mens BB and Football) like step-children. She takes the money they generate and sends it to non-revenue sports. I support and appreciate that UMD is good in field hockey, soccer, gymnastics, whatever, but to have Mens hoops the 67th funded team in D1 is ridiculous.

Clearly Yow has a feminist-quasi-socialist at the least very liberal agenda with Terp Club dollars, not to mention a tense-at-best relationship with Gary, I would not mind to see her go at all.

Posted by: jpfterps | November 6, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

So take your pick. Which of these 4 years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 was Yow so brilliant for not firing Gary Williams?

Posted by: Steve96 | November 5, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

1999/2000. If I mistyped earlier, my mistake. That was the season we lost by 35 to UCLA in the 2nd round of the NCAA. And a year later we lost 5 of 6 and yes, there were fans calling for Gary's head. If you don't remember this, that's fine. But please don't question whether it happened or not. Plenty of us remember it well.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 6, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

4)The Kathy Worthington "hit" on Gary last year was sancationed by Yow -- stuff like that just doesn;t happen in the organization without her approval -- ever. The fact it occured near her sisters death makes it even more troubling becuase it was surely authorized.

Posted by: curlybyrd | November 6, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

This is a sick and pathetic comment. The Kathy Worthington ordeal occurred the week that Kay Yow passed away and Debbie Yow was in North Carolina at the time burying her sister. Immediately upon returning, she came to Gary's press conference to silence the rumors about Gary's job security and spoke about how unfortunate it was that the episode happened while she was out of town.

You have quite the nerve to post such an offensive comment on a public board about someone and something you know absolutely nothing about.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 6, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Yow has a feminist-quasi-socialist at the least very liberal agenda with Terp Club dollars, not to mention a tense-at-best relationship with Gary, I would not mind to see her go at all.

Posted by: jpfterps | November 6, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Well, you may be right about the feminist-quasi-socialist with very liberal agenda. But the relationship with Gary has been blown way out of proportion by the local press. They have an excellent working relationship. How many athletic directors travel and sit beside their head coach during NIT games hundreds of miles from College Park during the most disappointing season since that coach arrived?

Posted by: Barno1 | November 6, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

While I don't share his vigor for Debbie Yow, I am happy Barno is back.

Posted by: jpfterps | November 6, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Believe me, Debbie Yow has her faults. Publicly stating that James Franklin got the head coach in waiting gig because he was a minority. Promoting the idea that race can and should be a factor in coaching hires and promotions. Appeasing the very few who opposed the playing of Rock n Roll Part II at football and bball games by helping ban the song at home games. She is not perfect, but she has done a great job as athletic director so far at MD, overseeing arguably the most successful period in the school's history in athletics while balancing the budget every year. Not too shabby.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 6, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"This is a sick and pathetic comment. The Kathy Worthington ordeal occurred the week that Kay Yow passed away and Debbie Yow was in North Carolina at the time burying her sister. Immediately upon returning, she came to Gary's press conference to silence the rumors about Gary's job security and spoke about how unfortunate it was that the episode happened while she was out of town.

You have quite the nerve to post such an offensive comment on a public board about someone and something you know absolutely nothing about."

you might want to check with "Dr." Yow's other staff (not Worthington) on the timing and logistics of that event -- I think even you would be surprised.

The "presser" she attended -- at the request of Dr. Mote.

Kay Yow's funeral was Friday January 30th

Kathy Worthington's comments Tuesday Jan 27th.

Yow's vote of confidence cam on Monday Feb 2nd after several leading donors had raised hell with the President and Board of Regents...

I'll take my knowledge of this situation over yours

Posted by: curlybyrd | November 6, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"She was referring to the 1998-99 season in which we lost in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament by 35 points to UCLA."

C'mon dude. Mistyped it? Barno1, 98-99 was the season we went to the Sweet 16 with Steve Francis. I usually appreciate your all-weather support of the Terps, but please just stop digging for your own sake.

Posted by: jrchris | November 6, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Barno: "...overseeing arguably the most successful period in the school's history in athletics while balancing the budget every year..."

Did you mean to say "most successful period in women's sports"? Because the sports that pay the bills haven't been that successful and our men's lacrosse team has been medicore and still hasn't won a title in 35 years. It'd be a hell of a stretch to say her tenure was more successful than the Lefty/Claiborne years, the Lefty/Ross years, or even the Tatum/Millikan years. During her tenure, in football we've had three outstanding years in football and one or two decent ones. And please stop attributing to her credit for men's bball, because Gary was here well before her, and she would have been tarred and feathered had she fired him.

On top of that, Gary Williams turning the basketball program around is the very reason Yow even had the money to balance the budget -- while at the same time upgrading facilities without cutting sports. So where do you think that money came from if not increased revenue in basketball? Revenue from Mark Duffner's football teams or from women's field hockey?

Posted by: jrchris | November 6, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I should add, and yes, increased revenue from football for a few years. Friedgen was a great hire, and she should get credit for that. BUT that must come with a huge caveat: Debbie Yow herself passed Friedgen over to hire Ron Vanderlinden. Friedgen was twice denied an interview for the Maryland head coaching job before he got it in 2001 (also by AD Andy Geiger who hired Duffner).

Posted by: jrchris | November 6, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse


C'mon dude. Mistyped it? Barno1, 98-99 was the season we went to the Sweet 16 with Steve Francis. I usually appreciate your all-weather support of the Terps, but please just stop digging for your own sake.

Posted by: jrchris | November 6, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I made a mistake and mistyped the year. 98-99 was a great reg season that ended on a sour note in the sweet 16 to st. johns. 99-2000 was also a good reg season but again ended on a very sour note with previously mentioned 35 pt blowout loss to ucla in 2nd round. Then mid way through next season we collapse to duke in final minute which begins stretch of 5 losses in 6 games culminating in the valentines day massacre vs fsu where terrence morris missed the tying 3 pointer at the final buzzer and fans began loudly calling for Gary's head. We followed that up with a 20 plus point win at Wake that weekend which began our run of 10 of 11 wins and landed us in the final four.

You can say Debbie would have been attacked for firing Gary, I agree with this statement. But a lot of other fans would have applauded the decision at the time to get rid of him. One need only look at the archives of the Terrapin Insider on this very website from earlier this year, from January and February, to see how many folks were calling for Gary's head THIS season AFTER he won a national championship.

You're either in denial, or have a short memory.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 6, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Barno: "...overseeing arguably the most successful period in the school's history in athletics while balancing the budget every year..."

Did you mean to say "most successful period in women's sports"?

Posted by: jrchris | November 6, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Again you're in denial. Go count up how many conference and national championships MD has had during her tenure. Compare them to previous ADs at this school. Please let us know what your findings are (if you're willing at that point to admit how incredibly wrong you are about this.)

Who hired Ralph Friedgen as head coach when no other school in the country over a period of 30+ years as a coach was willing to give him a shot? Answer: Debbie Yow

Who convinced the reigning National Coach of the Year to leave Minnesota and come to Maryland and turn around our womens bball program and lead us to a national championship and perennial national title contender? Answer: Debbie Yow

Who ignored calls for Gary Williams to be fired in 1999 and 2000 when some fans demanded he be ousted and again in 2009 when even more fans started vocally calling for his head? Answer: Debbie Yow

Who has balanced a budget every year and that had $51 million in debt 16 years ago? Answer: Debbie Yow

I am very grateful that we have an AD that has brought us Ralph Friedgen, Brenda Frese, balanced budgets, and kept Gary Williams through thick and thin.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 6, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"Go count up how many conference and national championships MD has had during her tenure."

1. How many men's and how many women's?

2. How many men's won by a coach she hired?

3. How many won in a revenue-generating sport?

4. How many won in a revenue-generating sport by a coach she hired?

Posted by: jrchris | November 6, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Friedgen, Brenda Frese, Gary Williams best years all came on her watch. Sorry, you lose.

Debbie stays.

Deal with it.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 6, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Friedgen, Brenda Frese, Gary Williams best years all came on her watch. Sorry, you lose.

and the Redskins won 3 super bowls while I was alive...

Posted by: curlybyrd | November 6, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

You avoided my question. Well, I can answer it for you. Here is a breakdown of all those championships during Yow's tenure:

1. 15 women's national titles, 3 men's. Or 83% women's, 17% men's. Or one women's title per year and one men's title every five years of her tenure.

2. 2 men's national titles by a coach Yow actually hired (Sasho Cirovski).

3. 1 national title in a money sport. 2 conference titles in money sports.

4. 0 national titles in a money sport by a coach Yow hired, 1 conference title in a money sport by a coach Yow hired (2001, football).

"...Gary Williams best years all came on her watch."

You are clueless. Williams was hired by Lew Perkins in 1989. Williams inherited the team from Bob Wade just 3 years after Len Bias' death. His first two years, Maryland was under NCAA sanctions for violations Wade had committed. Recruiting was near impossible, and Walt Williams who chose to stay after Wade left was the only real star during that time. Maryland came off sanctions in 1991 and two years later Williams had us back in national contention with Joe Smith and two straight Sweet Sixteens, and more or less kept us there for the duration of his career. Yow was hired in 1994, well after Williams had righted the ship.

You credit her for being on the clock during Williams' best years without acknowledging: (1) She had nothing to do with him coming to Maryland and rebuilding the program, and (2) that Williams was hamstrung for most of his tenure before she arrived in 1994. So no kidding he had his best years after she arrived. But saying Yow had something to do with it is the dictionary definition of a post hoc fallacy.

Posted by: jrchris | November 6, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

You are preaching to the choir about Gary Williams overcoming some of the worst NCAA sanctions in history to achieve nothing short of a miracle in my mind, and he should have tenure at Maryland.

But to go out of your way to say Yow deserves no credit for any success in mens sports during her tenure is willful ignorance on your part. That's all.

And like I said before--she is staying at MD, so deal with it.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 6, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Basically what Barno is saying is that we should credit Debbie Yow for not firing Gary Williams in the following times.

1. After the 99/00 season when the Terps dispite being very young made the NCAA tournament for the 8th time in a row, won 25 games, went 11-5 in the ACC and made the finals of the ACC tournament. This was the season that Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter and Steve Blake established themselves as big time players. They are a freshmen and two sophomores at this point and would be the backbone of the greatest era in Terps basketball.

2. In the middle of the 00/01 season when the team went into a 6 game slump. He can't make the argument that she could have fired Gary at the end of the year since they ended up in the final four.

When have coaches with similiar track records running clean programs being fired?

In addition, this overlooks the fact that she has never had the power to get rid of Gary even after the relative struggles in recent years. Gary has been a cash cow for the Terps for 20 years and has a lot of allies.

Whether or not you think Yow has done a good job, it is quite apparent that a change in leadership in the athletic department is needed at this point. at

Posted by: Chief2 | November 7, 2009 6:22 AM | Report abuse

2. 2 men's national titles by a coach Yow actually hired (Sasho Cirovski).

Nope JR, Yow inherited Sasho. He arrived a year before her.

The big natty list is women's Lax -- ask former Maryland now Navy head coach, Cindy Timchel what she thinks of Yow! (haven;t seen a natty there since she left) Field Hockey -- thats about 14 of the Nattys. Then there is competitive cheer, 2 soccer, and mens and womens basketball.

Brenda was a great hire. Ralph was Mote's call after Yow had messed up with the Vanderlinden hire infuriating some key alums (Boomer) in the process.

I dearly hope Gary outlasts her so he can be the main driver on the next basketball coach.

Posted by: curlybyrd | November 7, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Curly, you are 100% correct. I didn't realize Sasho had been with us for that long. Thanks for the correction.

Do you have any more info on Timchal/Yow and the Mote/Friedgen thing?

Posted by: jrchris | November 8, 2009 4:39 AM | Report abuse

Timchal was not ahppy with Yow when she left. And was vocal about it to those around her.

Mote -- being from a fundraising background realized the importance of winning football to raising $$. He demanded a change if Vandy had a losing record his last year. He managed the replacement process himself and sealed the deal with Ralph.

Yow, however to put her self back in control, gave him the 10 year deal a few years later.

Posted by: curlybyrd | November 8, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

"it is quite apparent that a change in leadership in the athletic department is needed at this point."

Posted by: Chief2 November 7, 2009 6:22 AM

Terp insiders have been aware of problems with the AD for years. It appears others are finally catching on.

Posted by: Steve96 | November 9, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

"...can't believe Yow's gall to get upset at those softball questions. It isn't like she was rightly asked about the disparity between men's and women's sports. Of the 18 national championships during her tenure, only three were in men's sports. Only two of which were won by a single coach Yow hired: Sasho Cirovski (men's soccer). Gary Williams won the only other one."

Field hockey and women's lacrosse are largely regional sports, and Maryland is in a region where it should do well in those sports. It's not as if it was trying to win a national title in water polo, for crying out loud. (Though it would be fun to win national titles in both men's and women's volleyball, as Penn State has done.) Eliminating women's lacrosse and field hockey at Maryland isn't going to make football or men's basketball stronger.

Also, there have been some recent improvements in men's sports. Wrestling at College Park is as strong as it's been in nearly 40 years, winning an ACC title for the first time since 1973. Once a replacement for Shipley Field is built at the new northeast campus athletic complex, which should happen in the next few years, I expect Terp baseball to move to the middle of the pack in the ACC -- not bad considering the climate disadvantages the program has to contend with.

Would I like to see a stronger football program here? Sure, but at the same time I realize the culture and resources aren't here for a perennial top 10 team. This isn't Southern Cal, Florida or Texas.

I sense much of the Yow-bashing comes from those who care more about one sport (men's basketball) than 27. And that's simply ignorant.

Posted by: VPaterno | November 9, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"I sense much of the Yow-bashing comes from those who care more about one sport (men's basketball) than 27. And that's simply ignorant."

Posted by: VPaterno November 9, 2009 11:49 AM

You must work in the athletic department. This may come as a shock but no one outside of the players themselves and their parents gives a crap about wrestling.

Of course people care more about basketball than, oh I don't know, let's say, cheerleading! It is truly "ignorant" to think otherwise. For cryin' out loud this is EXACTLY the kind of mentality that is destroying a once proud athletic program. Wrestling? Give me a break. 27 sports? This must be a joke.

Posted by: Steve96 | November 9, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, VPaterno, do you think it is unreasonable that we should be a semi-perennial Top 25 team in football? That is to say, is our school capable of being in about the top 25-30% of the ACC (one of the weaker BCS football conferences) every other year or so? Because we have been ranked in the Top 25 all of three (3) weeks since 2003.

IF your answer is "no", then what exactly do schools like Virginia Tech, LSU, Auburn, Oregon, Nebraska, Boise State, West Virginia, Penn State, Iowa, and Louisville -- all of which have been ranked in the Top 25 at least 60 times in the 2000s -- have that Maryland doesn't? Why should a top-tier academic school located immediately outside one of the nation's best cities and in a good recruiting area struggle in revenue sports?

I have seen no critics of Yow here argue that we should emphasize football/basketball at the expense of all other sports or academics. In my original post, I even said that it is a disgrace that we haven't won a men's lacrosse title in 35 years. Think about that for a second. The largest school in the state of Maryland hasn't won a men's lacrosse championship in three decades.

I'm not upset that we have successful teams in non-revenue sports, but if you can look at the blatant disparity -- shown empirically by those numbers I posted above -- between men's and women's sports and say there is no problem, then I think you are the ignorant one. Willfully or otherwise.

Posted by: jrchris | November 9, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

"IF your answer is "no", then what exactly do schools like Virginia Tech, LSU, Auburn, Oregon, Nebraska, Boise State, West Virginia, Penn State, Iowa, and Louisville -- all of which have been ranked in the Top 25 at least 60 times in the 2000s -- have that Maryland doesn't? Why should a top-tier academic school located immediately outside one of the nation's best cities and in a good recruiting area struggle in revenue sports?"

Most of those schools you've mentioned have football-first cultures and are not located in urban areas. (Louisville is now struggling in football; it couldn't sustain success in that sport, and I think the same thing will happen with Cincinnati, Texas Christian and Boise State.) The one exception to the rule regarding urban schools and football is Southern Cal, which has been a national power since the 1920s and whose success predates any Los Angeles pro team by several decades. To borrow Lefty Driesell's famed phrase, Maryland is the UCLA of the east, not the USC.

Could Maryland do better in football? Sure, but given the basketball-oriented culture here, it's difficult to lure recruits to a place where they're not big dog on campus. (The same thing applies to coaches, too; that's why Johnny Orr and Bill Frieder left Michigan despite their basketball success in Ann Arbor.) In a perverse way, you can also blame Mark Warner; had Syracuse been part of ACC expansion, rather than Virginia Tech, Maryland would probably have an easier time getting blue-chippers from Virginia. That angle in Maryland's football struggles after 2003 hasn't received sufficient attention.

"I have seen no critics of Yow here argue that we should emphasize football/basketball at the expense of all other sports or academics. In my original post, I even said that it is a disgrace that we haven't won a men's lacrosse title in 35 years. Think about that for a second. The largest school in the state of Maryland hasn't won a men's lacrosse championship in three decades."

I certainly can't comprehend that either (I was an undergrad at UMCP when it last won a title in 1975), but lacrosse -- for either gender -- remains a largely regional sport. Like it or not, women's basketball, not men's lacrosse, is now the No. 3 sport in College Park (just as women's basketball has taken over that spot from wrestling at Iowa State).

Posted by: VPaterno | November 10, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

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